Hello everyone. I'm new around these parts and after quite accidentally stumbling across this sight looking for homemade DIY ideas and projects for camping and outdoors gear I think I have become completely converted to hammocking. This even though I have never been in one (except a net hammock for lounging a friend had), seen one in use by anyone in the outdoors (and I have been in the outdoors a lot as a scout), let alone even considered a hammock for camping. I know, it may seem blasphemous, but I always relegated the hammock to the tropics.
Anyways, after sifting through this and other sites for information on what types of materials are used to make the different parts of a homemade hammock I feel a bit overwhelmed. Admittedly my knowledge of fabrics is rather limited. So I was wondering if anyone has put together (or will) a comprehensive list of what types of fabrics are used, what are their pros and cons (e.g. waterproof/resistance, breathability, UV protection, durability, weight, natural/artificial, cost, etc.), what parts of a hammock each type of fabric would best be suited for, and so forth. Is there a single fabric that could be used for the hammock, underquilt, overquilt, snakeskin, and/or tarp? Or would you recommend different or multiple fabrics for each one?
I did some preliminary shopping at local fabric stores today to get an idea and feel for the different types of fabrics I have seen mentioned here. So far I have only seen and handled silk and ripstop nylon. The silk seemed rather heavy and almost rough or coarse compared to what I always imagined silk to feel like. Plus at $24.99 a yard there was no way I was going to be buying that! After I got home I looked at some of my silk ties and noticed some were indeed a little coarse and heavy, while others were very soft and fine. There is a definite difference between the two, but what that could be or why I have no idea. Thoughts? Anyhow, the ripstop nylon the stores carried almost seemed like a mix between nylon flag material and those plastic tablecloths/picnic sheets. Would this be the coated DWR variety? I couldn't find any kind of identifying labels as to if they were 1.1 or 1.9, treated or not, or anything else other than the width of the cloth. The sales associates were of little help either...
I'm looking to make my own hammock designed to be similar in concept to headchange4u's HH so that I can easily add/remove layers, tops, and other features. I would like to have the hammock be 4 season and this seems to be the easiest and most plausible solution. Since I live in Utah there is a wide range of climates and environments that the hammock would likely be exposed to including heat, sand, dust, cold, snow, rain, and occasional high winds. Any help on materials and their various properties, or suggestions, would be much appreciated.